Ellis, Tharpe lead No. 16 KU over Toledo 93-83



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Perry Ellis had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Naadir Tharpe added a career-high 20 points and No. 16 Kansas beat Toledo 93-83 on Monday night for the Rockets' first loss of the season.

Andrew Wiggins also had 20 points and fellow freshman Joel Embiid had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks (9-3), who built a 16-point lead early in the second half.

Toledo (12-1) made one final charge, using some hot outside shooting and sloppiness on the part of Kansas to get within 81-73 on a 3-pointer by Julius Brown with 3:23 left in the game.

Tharpe answered moments later with a free throw and then a driving layup off a miss, and Kansas finally put the game away when Frank Mason fed Wiggins on a run-out for an easy dunk that gave the Jayhawks an 88-76 lead with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Nathan Boothe led the Rockets with 15 points, despite dealing with foul trouble much of the night. J.D. Weatherspoon and Justin Drummond had 13 points each, and Rian Pearson added 10.

The loss ended Toledo's 15-game winning streak dating to last season, and put a wrap on the Rockets' best start to a season since the 1966-67 team won its first 14 games.

Meanwhile, the Jayhawks won their 68th straight non-conference game at Allen Fieldhouse. They will try to run the table again when they finish up against No. 21 San Diego State on Sunday, and then begin chasing their 10th straight Big 12 championship on Jan. 8 at Oklahoma.

Before then, there are certainly issues that Kansas still must iron out.

The Jayhawks turned the ball over on their first two possessions Monday night, leading an incensed coach Bill Self to burn his first timeout just 35 seconds into the game.

Kansas would finish with 18 turnovers.

The quick break may have settled down Kansas, but it didn't do much to slow down Toledo. Relying on a series of open 3-pointers, including one by the 6-foot-9 Boothe, the high-scoring Rockets efficiently opened a 22-17 lead midway through the first half.

Tharpe answered with a pair of 3-pointers and eight straight points for Kansas, and a 10-2 run gave the Jayhawks the lead. They slowly pushed it out to 43-36 by halftime.

Toledo hung around early in the second half, again making the most of its prolific outside shooting. But the Jayhawks finally went on a 3-point binge of their own, and a three-point play by Embiid produced a 68-52 cushion with just over 12 minutes left in the game.

The Rockets whittled the lead to 70-60 a few minutes later, but Kansas answered with a run-out jam by Tarik Black, a basket by Ellis inside and a three-point play by Wiggins _ the third time in the game the uber-athletic freshman converted while getting fouled.

Every time the Jayhawks threatened to put the game away, Toledo stubbornly stuck around.

It wasn't until Tharpe's driving layup and an emphatic dunk by Wiggins that left the entire goal stanchion shaking that the crowd packed inside the Phog could finally exhale.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Dave Skretta

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